The English city of Bristol could soon be making history with the launch of the UK’s very first city-wide currency; the Bristol Pound is an initiative designed to boost the city’s economy and strengthen local trade.
The Bristol Pound is not the only alternative local currency used in the UK – the city of Totnes in Devon introduced the Totnes Pound in 2006, while the Lambeth city of Brixton launched its own city-wide currency, the Brixton Pound (B£), in 2009 and this currency is still thriving. However, the Bristol Pound will be the first local UK currency with the backing of a regulated financial services provider – in this case, the Bristol Credit Union. This means the currency can be used to pay not only for goods but also for bills.
As a forerunner to the Bristol Pound, the Brixton Pound serves as a stellar example of local currency; the B£ was even launched in electronic format last year, allowing local users to make instantaneous payments by text. Following the launch of the Bristol Pound notes, this new city-wide currency could also be developed to include an electronic format in the coming months.
Here’s a closer look at the UK’s latest alternative currency – the Why, How and When of the Bristol Pound:
The purpose behind the introduction of the Bristol Pound is to provide support to the city’s independent retailers and other businesses, stimulate the Bristol economy and build a sense of community among local consumers. Ideally, the widespread use of the Bristol Pound within the city will ensure that money spent in Bristol will stay in circulation in the city of Bristol. This will reduce the amount of money going into the financial systems of larger offshore corporations.
The Bristol Pound can be exchanged with pound sterling, and one Bristol Pound will of course be equivalent to one British Pound. Locals can currently register for a Bristol Pound account online, after which they will be contacted with the appropriate registration forms. Those who choose to get involved with the Bristol Pound initiative are making a clear statement about their support for local businesses and the Bristol community.
The Bristol Pound is due to launch on May 21st this year, and local residents have been asked to submit their ideas for the design of this local currency. The Bristol Pound will be available in £1, £5, £10 and £20 notes, and each will feature an image on both sides. Many Bristol locals are hoping for the honour of seeing their designs or illustrations appear on the brand-new Bristol Pound in May!
Nicky Warner is an enthusiastic writer with a special interest in UK news. Whether you’re an experienced foreign exchange broker, or just starting out with a new MT4 demo account, you’ll find Nicky has plenty of relevant financial and economic news to share.
- Gold: Currency or Commodity? (fastswings.com)
- How to Avoid Meeting the Inheritance Tax Threshold (2008taxes.org)